Pecan and Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes

~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen

Serves 8-10, depending on size of shortcake cutter you use

For the Shortcakes:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

Silicone baking sheet Liner or parchment paper
Whole pecan halves
Unsweetened shredded coconut

For the Strawberries:

2 lbs strawberries, halved and sliced
1/4 - 1/3 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you like them
1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec liqueur (or freshly squeezed orange juice)

Garnish: Sweetened Whipped Cream or Sweetened Mascarpone Cream

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toast the coconut on a baking sheet for about 5-6 minutes, watching carefully so it does not burn. Toss coconut occasionally for even browning. Let cool.

Toast the pecans on another backing sheet for about 7 minutes until fragrant and slightly browned. Allow to cool.

Whisk together flour, sugar and baking power in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or large fork until just combined. Do not overwork.

Transfer the toasted coconut into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely chopped. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 4 eggs, vanilla and 1 cup heavy cream. Add the egg mixture, chopped pecans, and toasted coconut to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon or spatula until just blended. The dough will still be moist.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and gently knead 2-3 times. Pat the dough to a uniform 1 to 1-1/2 inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut the dough without twisting the cutter and place on a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Reshape dough gently and cut remaining dough. You may use a smaller cutter to use up the scapes. The dough makes wonderful biscuits to eat with breakfast all by themselves!

Turn oven heat up to 400F.

Chill cut dough for at least 15 minutes. Afterward, brush each shortcake with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream and press one pecan half on top. Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake shortcakes at 400° for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pan placed on a baking rack for at least 20 minutes.

About 1 hour before serving, prepare the strawberries by stirring the cut strawberries together with sugar, liqueur or orange juice. Allow to macerate at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

To serve, split the shortcakes in half horizontally. Place a shortcake bottom on each dessert plate, and top with about a generous scoop of strawberries and top with sweetened whipped cream or sweetened Mascarpone Cream

Adapted from Southern Living
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